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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs, Jags eye best 0-8 turnaround since 1978

Bobby Rainey celebrates with Bucs fans after his 80-yard touchdown run against the Bills.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Bobby Rainey celebrates with Bucs fans after his 80-yard touchdown run against the Bills.

13

December

The Bucs and Jaguars, having won four of five games after 0-8 starts, are one win away from having the NFL's best 0-8 turnaround in 35 years.

Of course, being the league's best team after an 0-8 start is along the same lines as being the tallest midget, but it does speak to the progress Tampa Bay and Jacksonville have made in the past month, digging out of a hole most teams don't emerge from.

Of the last 25 teams to open 0-8 before this season, only two mustered so much as a four-win season -- the 2010 Bills finished 4-12 and the 2008 Bengals went 4-11-1. But other than that, you have to go back to the 1978 Cardinals, who started 0-8 and finished 6-10, to find a team winless at the midway point that rebounded for more than three wins.

The average final victory total among those 25 teams that opened 0-8 is just 2.04 wins -- eight finished with zero or one wins, eight with exactly two wins and nine with three or four wins. 

Jacksonville might be in better position to land that fifth win, playing at home against Buffalo (4-9) and Tennessee (5-8) before finishing the year at Indianapolis (8-5). The Bucs have the 49ers (9-4) at home, then travel to face the Rams (5-8) and Saints (10-3).

[Last modified: Friday, December 13, 2013 2:03pm]

    

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